Desert Messenger

April 15, 2020

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WHAT'S INSIDE 2 The Salvation Army Updates 3 Snake safety tips 4 AZ Dept. of Health Services 5 BLM camping updates 6 Editorial 7 CDC masks 8 HerbMama 9 Hospital offers Telehealth 10 Saga of inept ukulele student 12 Rumors 12 MVD Shuts down 13 CARES Act for Businesses 14 Classifeds 14 Paul Winer's Cartoon 15 Desert Messenger Distribution Sites 16 HEART IN THE WINDOW • "Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper" • 928-916-4235 WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2020 VOL. 16 # 319 Now in our 1 6 t h YEAR! Alwa y s FREE! SEE COVID-19 PAGE 11 Quartzsite Elementary School teacher charged with sex crimes La Paz County confirms first death due to COVID-19 Quartzsite Strong! The La Paz County Health Department was notifi ed April 7th, 2020 of the fourth positive case in the county. This individual was from the Quartzsite service district area and was admitted to a local hospital. The newest case has unfortunately resulted in the fi rst COVID-19 related death in the county. This person was over the age of 65 and had other underlying health conditions. The four positive confi rmed cases in La Paz County have resulted in, two fully recovered, one currently being hospitalized outside of the county and the unfortunate loss of the fourth individual. The La Paz County Health Department is continu- Quartzsite, AZ - The Quartzsite Police Department has arrested a 23-year-old man in connection to an alleged sexual relationship with a minor. Offi cials say they received information Friday that a student and a teacher in the Quartzsite Elementary School District were involved in an inappropriate relationship. According to a press release issued by Quartzsite Police Chief William Ponce, on April 13, 2020 the Quartzsite Police Department (QPD) arrested and booked Garrett Sweetland for 10 counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor un- der ARS 13-1405B. Sexual conduct with a minor who is under fi fteen years of age is a class 2 felony and is punishable pursuant to section 13-705. On April 10, 2020 investigators from the Quartzsite Police Department received information that an unnamed student and a school teacher later identifi ed as Garrett Sweetland were involved in an inappropriate relationship. Garrett Sweetland is a teacher with the Quartzsite Elementary School District who teaches 3rd and 4th grades. The investigation revealed that Garret Sweetland and the unnamed minor were having a relationship as boyfriend and girl- friend. Upon further investigation investigators were able to deter- mine that the two had been engaged in sexual acts on multiple oc- SUSPECT: Garre� Sweetland ing the process of interviewing close contacts of the individuals and recommending each person moni- tor for symptoms and quarantine themselves for 14 days, based on risk exposure. Holly Irwin, Chairman of the Board of Supervi- sors responded saying "we are saddened to hear of the fi rst COVID-19 related death in La Paz County. Our hearts go out to the victim, family, and friends. We empathize with this tragic situation and en- courage our communities to remain vigilant in our efforts to support and protect one another." casions during the duration of the alleged relationship. If you have any additional information about this case please contact Corporal Tanakeyowma at 928-927-4644.

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